Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2004 Issue

Strange and Eccentric: American Books<br>From Garrett Scott, Bookseller

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Some unusual American books from Garrett Scott, Bookseller.


By Michael Stillman

This month we review our first catalogue from Garrett Scott, Bookseller. Its title is "American Books," and it is one of the more interesting and entertaining rare book catalogues you will find. This is a collection of some of the most esoteric, eccentric, and downright strange books I've seen. Once you get past the first item, President John Adams' third State of the Union address, you will find a trove of oddities rarely found.

There are books of verse from 19th century amateur poets, people whose work could not be forgotten because few ever heard of them in the first place. Some of it is absolutely atrocious, but if there's one thing that's more entertaining to read than good poetry, it's bad poetry. There are many books and pamphlets in support of the temperance movement. We tend to forget the vehemence of support for prohibition of alcohol that existed in America for a century, until finally, the 18th Amendment took effect in 1920. This great victory turned into a practical disaster, and in 1933, the amendment was repealed. All of those years of work for the temperance movement proved to be for naught, but their often-shrill arguments are still interesting to hear today. Other publications in this catalogue cover religious issues of the time, "scientific" claims it's hard to believe sounded rational even in their day, and some of the paranoid fringe type of politics still heard outside the mainstream today. There is material here to start or build on many types of collections, and most will fit the means of the modest budgeted collector.

Jane Hudson; or, The Secret of Getting out in the World, of unknown author, published by the American Sunday-School Union in the 1850s, provides the heroine with this bit of motherly advice: "A woman may be very learned, very intelligent, very agreeable; but still, if she does not or will not attend to the sweeping, cleaning, darning, mending, &c. of her own family, she is as sadly out of the way, as glaringly deficient in all that would make her a truly complete and useful woman, as if she were dressed ever so richly, yet with holes in her elbows." I was going to show that to my wife, but I don't want to end up with holes in my head. Item 17. Priced at $50.

Dr. Winthrop Bowman presented this Lecture Delivered...May 11, 1882...Introducing his System of Respiration for the Development and Treatment of the Vital Organs of the Body. No question respiration is important for good health, but evidently the doctor had a particular method which could target specific organs for renewal, and purge the body of carbonic acid. I have a better suggestion for purging the body of carbonic acid. Stop drinking so much Coke. Item 27. $50.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>The Railroad,</i> etching, 1922. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Sheet of Studies with Men in Hats and a Saloon Keeper,</i> pen, ink & pencil, circa 1900-05. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Night Shadows,</i> etching, 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Edward Hopper & His Contemporaries:<br>Making a Modern American Art<br>June 30, 2022
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> John Marin, <i>Woolworth Building, No. 2,</i> etching & drypoint, 1913. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Charles Demuth, <i>Tulips,</i> watercolor & pencil, 1924. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann June 30:</b> Edward Hopper, <i>Under Control,</i> gouache, ink & wash, circa 1907-10. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> JESSE JAMES. Autograph Letter Signed on the attack at his home which maimed his mother and killed his nephew Archie, 6 pp, March 23, 1875. THE MOST IMPORTANT JESSE JAMES LETTER EXTANT. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> THE LETTER THAT ARRIVED TOO LATE: An important letter from Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant across the battlefield at Cold Harbor, June 6, 1864. $120,000 to $180,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> DAVY CROCKETT. Autograph Letter Signed on his political philosophy and his dispute with Andrew Jackson, "at home Weakley County," August 18, 1831. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> GEORGE WASHINGTON. Letter Signed to Colonel Richard Gridley, the first engineer of the American Army, Morris Town, January 9, 1777. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> SCOTT FITZGERALD. <i>Tender is the Night.</i> FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED to H.A. Swanseid. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS. <i>Tarzan of the Apes.</i> FIRST EDITION. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> J.R.R. TOLKIEN. <i>The Hobbit, or There and Back Again.</i> FIRST EDITION. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> NATHANAEL WEST. <i>The Day of the Locust.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed to director Richard Wallace in the year of publication. $6,000 to $8,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> FRANCIS PICABIA. Archive of 17 Autograph Letters signed to Jennie Thiersch on art and life, 1948-1951. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> JOHN HANCOCK. Autograph Letter Signed to his wife Dolly from the Continental Congress, 4 pp, Philadelphia, March 10-11, 1777. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 28:</b> NIGHTGOWN WORN BY CHARLOTTE CARDEZA DURING THE TITANIC DISASTER AND RESCUE. $40,000 to $60,000

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